Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Columbia Gorge

The "Mighty Columbia" as the river has been described in song is a bit calmer then when Lewis and Clark first encountered it or settlers tried to navigate it on their way to the fertile Willamette Valley. These days it's been tamed by dams. If you head out east on I-84 from Portland, in no time you find yourself in some of the most beautiful scenery (in my mind) you'll see anywhere! Especially the part of the river gorge that includes the Cascade range. This photo, shot by Wendy Dunder inspired me to babble on about one of my most inspirational  places. Taken recently during a bit of stormy weather, it really conveys the majesty of this part of the Pacific Northwest.

You'll spot 620 foot Multnomah Falls within a half hour out the Gorge from Portland. My photo certainly doesn't do it justice...

The town of Hood River, about an hour East has world class windsurfing, Mt Hood ski areas in their back yard, and wonderful fruit orchards. The scenery changes at this point. You'll find yourselves in a much drier landscape. Head on out of Hood River to The Dalles where you can make a stop at La Petite Provence, you deserve it, after all, you've been in the car for about an hour and a half  hyperventilating over the scenery. That will burn some serious calories!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A few new pieces.

It took a bit longer than I had hoped to dig into the batch of loose stones and pearls I blogged about several weeks ago, but then I dream about a week where I just work in my studio all day long without interruption... I've been able to finish 3 pieces using the Nevada boulder turquoise and the pillow keshi pearls. One of the rings, the large one, is a commission based on the smaller ring that I finished first. Both have pink tourmalines that pick up the bit of blush in the matrix of the boulder turquoise.

This is the largest stone out of the batch that I looked at as a possible brooch, but it makes a fabulous ring!

And another pair of the sterling and 14kt gold peach pillow keshi pearl drops.

For those in the Portland area, I'll be at the annual LOCAL 14 Women's Art Show and Sale Oct 14th -17th up at the World Forestry Center. If you've never been, you're in for a treat! Check out the website for more info!  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A recent Sunday afternoon...

Recently my friend Louise called and asked if I might be interested in driving out to Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon to attend a free class on clematis given by Wim Snoeijer of The Netherlands. It was a beautiful, warm Indian summer day, Louise is an amazing gardner, plus she has a little red Mini Cooper. How could I resist?

                                                                  Joy Creek Nursery

We learned how to properly classify the various types of clamatis. I admit to not remembering a thing, except feeling a bit like I do when I'm at my French class... Anyway, we looked at lots of pretty blooms all of which I could see myself happily owning!

We took a little snack break after the class to give our brains a rest, found some shade and Louise unpacked a most wonderful spread including a variety of cherry tomatoes from her garden and pears plucked from her trees. She also made oatmeal cookies that were to die for. I think I ate 4 of them.

We enjoyed walking through the gardens admiring the various textures and colors, and of course, getting a few ideas for next Spring. I have no idea what the names of most of these plants are. I never seem to pay attention to that. I suppose I should try harder, but the visuals are what grab me.

love this color

a gorgeous red rose

I actually have this in my yard. It's cool.

just kidding... poor Ophelia.